13. Foster Care‎ > ‎

13.6 Support Termination


Chapter Federal Authority
Foster Care Social Security Act
Part E – Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
Subject State Authority
Support Termination Wyo. Stat. § 14-1-101 Age of majority; rights on emancipation
Wyo. Stat. § 14-1-201 Definitions
Wyo. Stat. § 14-1-203 Application for emancipation decree; hearing; notice; rights and liabilities of emancipated minor; conditions for issuance of decree; filing decree; copy to applicant
Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-204 Liability for support; right of action; venue; service; measure of recovery; remedies cumulative; execution; continuing exclusive jurisdiction; notice
Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-317 Effect of order of termination
Wyo. Stat. § 14-3-431 Duration of orders of disposition; termination of orders; permanency hearings; petition for termination of parental rights
Wyo. Stat. § 14-6-231 Release of child from institution; duration of orders of disposition; termination of orders
Wyo. Stat. § 14-6-431 Duration of orders of disposition; termination of orders

Policy Number Effective Date
13.6 October 1, 2010

Overview

When a child is in out-of-home placement and in the custody of the Department of Family Services (DFS), DFS will provide shelter until the child is reunited with his or her family, adopted, placed in another permanent home, or emancipates.  Once one of these alternatives occurs, the parental contribution ends.   The Wyoming CSE Program will assess the case for further action based upon the reason the parental contribution ended or any specific guidance in a court order for future enforcement of child support arrears.  

Policy

Suspending Support

Out-of-Home Placement Ends

The parental obligation is suspended when the child returns to the family even if DFS continues to have legal custody of the child or if the child is placed with a guardian whether paid or unpaid.  Depending upon the District Court, the District CSE Office will:

  • File a Motion and Order to Suspend the parental contribution; or
  • File a Motion for Entry of Final Order.

Redirection of Child Support

When a child leaves DFS care and custody and DFS notifies the District CSE Office, the case worker will redirect the parental contribution on the POSSE foster care case back to the original Mother vs. Father POSSE case by having the District CSE Office Attorney sign an affidavit or notice terminating the Affidavit of Redirection.


Note:  Child support or the parental contribution does not accrue when a child is no longer in the physical custody of DFS even if the child is still in legal custody as long as DFS is not expending money.  This includes unpaid relative placement or paid subsidies for guardians except if the relative or guardian applies for services as discussed in Chapter 6 Intake.

Terminating Support

Unless terminated by court order, the parental obligation ends as discussed below.

Termination of Parental Rights

When the rights of a parent are relinquished or terminated, child support only ends if: 

  • the termination is conducted by the Department of Family Services (DFS) through the Wyoming Attorney General’s office or the county attorney; 
  • the order terminating parental rights specifically indicates child support terminates; or
  • the child is adopted.

Adoption

If a child in DFS custody is adopted, the parental obligations for both the mother and father end as of the date of the adoption.


Note: If the termination of support order or adoption decree is silent regarding child support arrears, the child support arrears that accrued based upon the child support order are still due and owing, and the Wyoming CSE Program will enforce them as appropriate under federal and state law as discussed in Chapter 9 Enforcement.

Age of Majority

In Wyoming, a child reaches the age of majority at 18 years or can emancipate earlier under certain circumstances described in 12.3 Closure – Termination of Support; however, if a child is in state custody and remains in out-of-home placement after the age of majority, the parental obligation to support the child continues until the child leaves out-of-home placement or reaches the age of 21.

End-Dating Children

The District CSE Office will end-date a child in POSSE that stops the parental obligation when:

  • The child is adopted. 
  • The child emancipates. 
  • The parent’s parental rights are terminated and the Order Terminating the Parental Rights indicates the parental obligation ends.
  • The local DFS notifies the District CSE Office the child is no longer in state custody.
  • WYCAPS or the monthly report provided by DFS indicates the child is no longer in state custody, and this is verified by the local DFS office.

If the child leaves placement before the 15th of the month, the District CSE Office will use the end of the previous month as the end date.  If the child leaves placement on or after the 15th of the month, the District CSE Office will use the last day of that month as the end date.  

Reinstating Support

Under certain circumstances, a child may return to out-of-home placement and the care of DFS.  When this occurs and a parental obligation order has already been established, the District CSE Office may reinstate the parental contribution by filing a motion to reinstate the parental contribution; however, some District Courts limit the amount of time between placements and may require that the District CSE Office establish a new parental contribution.  Therefore, the case worker will discuss each reinstatement situation with the District CSE Office Attorney before proceeding.

Cross Reference

None

Version Number Last Revised Date
2 July 1, 2014